June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Autumn's pink fireworks

If I were to write a shortlist of garden "must-have's" it would certainly include Nerine bowdenii.   Just as almost everything else is fading these shocking pink flowers burst into brilliant life like fireworks brightening up a dark sky.   Given to me by my next door neighbour I tend to forget about the corms amid the dense chaos of my flower-planting and certainly don't give them any special attention but they are remarkably good-humoured about it.

Nerine's grow best planted shallowly in a sunny spot where they can get nice and hot during the summer. I must remember to transplant some to where I can see them from the house next year.

Another "must-have" is evergreen honeysuckle Lonicera Japonica Halliana which seems to me to have flowered at virtually every time of year but is currently flourishing and wafting its gorgeous scent around the garden.   Smelling it always makes me feel happy and it's a great addition to any little bunch of odds and ends I can find for the house.

 In the greenhouse the beans, rocket and land cress are doing very well.

We had a first light frost this week but it didn't touch the dahlias - even though I had rushed out with a torch to pick the best of the last blooms!   It has been incredibly dry with hardly any rain for weeks but the leaves are still hanging on most of the trees incredibly well, the colours barely beginning to turn.   Only my little amelanchier has shed its leaves so far.

More remarkably, I am still picking a few raspberries and strawberries!

Monday, 17 October 2011

October mist and worthwhile days out

Sculpture at Waddesdon Manor
On Saturday there was really never a single hint of a cloud in the sky and a beautiful day it was to visit Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury.   The leaves were only just beginning to turn but the low afternoon light showed off some of the Rothschild's sculpture collection to its best.  

Unsurprising then that Sunday dawned really misty.   But the sun had broken through by lunchtime.   Couldn't resist these comparative shots.   Will not be featuring this view for a while!!!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Autumn harvest

Some of the late strawberries have ripened to the most beautiful and delicious I have had from these plants.   The French beans in the greenhouse are also doing very well - when I manage to stop the slugs and snails from chomping on them.

There isn't all that much left to do just now except clear up fallen leaves, enjoy the dahlias and the odd little delights which surprise - including the discovery that my Clematis Pistachio that I thought had died is actually sending up new shoots (a bit late!) and the nerines are bursting into life among the dahlias - a strange and rather garish combination!
Beautiful Pompon Dahlia Natal
Still haven't solved the mystery of the "sawdust" accumulating under the dead cherry tree but have posted an ID request on bbc's Ispot.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Stag beetle maybe?

"Sawdust" on fungi on decaying cherry tree trunk

I am finding the piles of "saw dust" down the sides and at the base of my old, dead cherry tree trunk are growing!   Seeing some hornets building a nest in an old tree in woods at the weekend prompted me to mention this to a game keeper.   He said it might be stag beetle larvae eating their way into the trunk to hibernate.   I looked for holes but can't see any....   It really looks like someone has been sawing branches off - but they haven't!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A second crop of strawberries!!

While for the most part I have simply been enjoying the wonderful Indian summer which seems - miraculously - to actually have materialised with temperatures well into the 80's both yesterday and today, I have also noted some very extraordinary occurrences.   In particular, I have a second crop of strawberries developing.   Not just tiny little things but a really healthy-looking lot which actually promise to be better than the first.
In addition, there are primroses - both the true and hybridised varieties - flowering.   A very strange year indeed.

The dahlias are at last all in flower and flourishing - enough to take a good bunch round to my Mum once a week without making an noticeable difference and the air is still filled with the scent of honeysuckle which always seems to have had strange timing habits.   Even as the first leaves of the amelanchier are turning and the odd autumn crocus is popping up cheerfully the grass is still growing fast.   The garden is still rewarding to eye, nose and palate.   Enough to make yet another apple and raspberry crumble again this week.   It will be strawberries and cream next!